Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC

Rudi 2012Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE), a renewable energy? company based in St. Louis, MO, has developed a business case for restoring native grasslands? of the Midwest. A subsidiary of Roeslein and Associates (an engineering firm specializing in design and fabrication of modularized industrial processes), RAE is one of the newest companies to undertake large-scale? anaerobic digestion as a means for turning agricultural wastes into renewable energy assets while improving air, soil and water. Anaerobic digestion is an ancient technology used around the world but it is considered under-utilized in the U.S. where large-scale operations are faced with policy-related economic barriers to profitable operations. Despite these challenges, RAE is developing a business case for including native grassland vegetation in anaerobic digestion of livestock manure as a way to improve efficiency of biogas production while protecting watersheds and native biodiversity, conserving agriculturally marginal soils, and increasing wildlife habitat. Rudi Roeslein, owner of RAE, realizes the benefits of green business and the many benefits of collaboration. Mr. Roeslein has tapped the expertise of academic researchers in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri to address technical issues of anaerobic digestion of native grasses? and resource management questions of how to plant, harvest and maintain native grassland plant mixtures that are compatible with digestion technologies and ecologically appropriate for the area in which they are grown. Currently, RAE is leading the largest biogas project in the U.S., involving hog manure from 88 farms in northern Missouri and native grasslands grown on agriculturally marginal soils near-by. Roeslein Alternative Energy provides an example of how commerce and renewable energy may be applied in Wisconsin to resolve the state’s manure-related environmental challenges while also promoting the state’s native grasslands.

For press coverage on the northern Missouri project with Smithfield Foods, see: . For more on RAE, and their vision of anaerobic digest that includes native grasses and the many benefits therein, see their web site:

Photo by Brian Cassidy, St. Louis Business Journal

Anerobic Digestion and Biogas

UW Extension have created seven modules focused on the use of anaerobic digestion technologies. Details of the process are introduced, as well as factors that influence start-up, operation and control of anaerobic digesters at different scales.

Contact Us:


Carol Williams
(608) 890-3858 (office)
(515) 520-7494 (mobile)
Department of Agronomy
1575 Linden Dr.
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706

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Use of contour buffer strips in commodity crop systems in southwestern Wisconsin helps reduce soil loss and traps nutrients on slopes. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.